I argued in my column earlier this week that we are engaged in a real war that will almost certainly be a long war as well. The war is worldwide and its center of gravity is the internet and other forms of communication.
“A third world war” is how King Abdullah of Jordan described it.
Our enemies know they are at war with us. They routinely prove they will kill those who don’t convert or submit to Islam and accept its superiority and the rule of sharia.
These enemies extend well beyond the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed more people than ISIS. Al Qaeda is apparently growing again. The Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan. Islamic supremacists are proselytizing and recruiting around the world. The Paris attackers may have all been European citizens. The FBI has cases in all 50 states.
The Islamic supremacist movement is spreading over the Internet and other communications. And yet our elites are willfully blind to it.
When a terrorist in California knifes four people, owns an ISIS flag, plans to behead someone and then pray to Allah, our elites can’t explain why he did it and refuse to call him a terrorist.
When a man in Bosnia kills two soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” then blows himself up, the BBC story went on to report that the prime minister “refused to be drawn on whether the man, named as Enes Omeragic, was a jihadist militant.”
Part of this willful blindness comes from an instinct that recognizing the scale and intensity of the problem would require responses that would shatter the system the elites have built up over the past several decades.
The Islamic supremacist movement has been gaining strength and the CIA director said this week it is now stronger than ever.
The current dangers include stabbing, shooting, bombing and beheading, among other possibilities. Given enough time and space, the danger will include dirty bombs, chemical weapons, biological weapons, and nuclear weapons.
A failure to defeat Islamic supremacists could risk losing entire cities and casualties 100 times the losses on 9/11.
We have to win.
Failure to win gives our enemies an opportunity to do unthinkable things to us.
What, then, would victory look like?
We have to design a strategy that makes it impossible for Islamic supremacists to operate anywhere in the world.
It is probably not feasible to wipe out every person who privately favors sharia and the fall of the West.
It is difficult but possible to suppress those thoughts to a point where they cannot gain enough force, resources or people to be a threat.
Given the very real danger that our enemies will enthusiastically kill us if they get a chance, and that over time they will have the resources to kill more and more of us, I don’t see any choice except to accept this goal of eliminating their ability to operate.
This definition of victory will require that we think through a global campaign that coordinates military, intelligence, police, cultural and communications efforts. It will require rethinking a number of laws. It will require hard steps that will be very controversial.
With weak leadership, we and the Europeans will not be able to work through the political and cultural obstacles to make the changes that must be made. In that case, it will take a really catastrophic attack to force us to change.
Wise leadership would change as fast as possible to pre-empt the disaster. Weak leadership will hide from reality and hope our enemies magically disappear.
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